Dog Water Sports

Woman practicing paddle surf with her dog on the surfboard.

Summer is officially just a week away.  Warmer weather is sweeping the nation and our dogs want to be outside more and more.  Of course it’s hot, so water sports are a great way to keep your dog active and cool – and many dogs love the water.  Here are some of the top water sports that you can try with your pooch:

  1. Water Retrieval. This one is pretty self-explanatory.  Throw a stick or toy in the water and watch your dog go after it.  It may take some time for your dog to get used to the idea of jumping into the water but using a toy as bait is a great way to help them overcome the fear of water – and they will be proud of themselves for fetching something and bringing it back to you.
  2. Are you a surfer?  Well, your dog can learn as well.  You’ll still have to carry the surfboard but you can take her out with you to catch some waves.  There are places that offer lessons to you and your dog, such as this place in San Diego: http://www.animalcenter.org/donate/donate_surf_clinics.aspx.
  3. This is a nice relaxing activity for humans, so many dogs are likely to love it – especially since you are doing all the work!  Once your dog learns how to balance on the board, she can come with you to explore the ocean, bay, or lake for new smells and other animals.
  4. Freestyle Swimming. Some dogs love to just paddle around in the water to stay cool.  There are lots of dog beaches where your dog can just jump in – and there are even hotel pools that allow dogs to enjoy the water.
  5. Dog Diving. This activity, for the advanced canine swimmer, is similar to water retrieval only the toy or object the dog is chasing goes under water.  It’s a great way for your dog to get exercise and have a ton of fun.
  6. Dock Diving. This is both a fun and competitive activity.  Dogs jump off a dock or ledge and get judged on distance, speed, and agility – usually against dogs of their same breed or type.  It’s really fun for the dog and lots of fun for spectators.  Dogs usually get super excited as they go leaping into the water.

It’s most important for you to have fun with your dog and stay cool.